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U.S. becomes Germany's top trading partner overtaking France

Sierra Leone News
21 Feb 2016, 20:45 GMT+10

BERLIN, Germany - Overtaking France for the first time since 1961, United States became the top destination for German exports in 2015.

Data from Germany's Statistics Office pointed out that the rise is being attributed to an upturn in the U.S. economy and a weaker euro.

Exports to the United States rose by 19 percent to $127 billion in 2015, compared with an increase in French purchases of 2.5 percent to 103 billion euros.

Reportedly, it was the first time in more than half a century that France was not Germany's biggest trading partner and economists said the picture was unlikely to change any time soon.

He said solid U.S. growth rates were partly responsible for the rising demand for German goods.

Simon Juncker, an expert at Germany's DIW economic institute confirmed, "This is more of a long-term trend."

The world's biggest economy grew by 2.4 percent last year and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expects U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 2.0 percent this year.

Reports further pointed out that France's GDP, on the other hand, rose 1.1 percent in 2015 and the OECD is forecasting growth of 1.2 percent this year.

Bernhard Mattes, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany said, "The American economy is currently experiencing a stable economic upturn, which benefits German companies. This also includes low energy prices, a comparatively low U.S. wage level and the weak external value of the euro."

Since mid-2014, the euro has depreciated by nearly a fifth against the dollar, following expansionary monetary policies by the European Central Bank.

As a member of the euro itself, France wasn't able to benefit from that depreciation in its trade with Germany.

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